Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence , 90 ECTS

Duration :3 semesters
Workload : ~ 45 h / week
Language :English
Classes start on : 1st February
Price : CHF 2000 / semester
30 November 2023
In a few words

Inspired by the dual-track swiss education system, the Master focuses to a large extent on the acquisition of professional expertise. It combines cutting-edge theoretical courses and work-based learning in a company. The student specialises in AI and develops artificial intelligence projects within the company he/she works for. In addition, we offer a selection of positions as AI engineer in training for which you can apply. Projects are supervised by AI researchers and specialists of the Idiap Research Institute, a national centre of AI expertise.

This unique university education is the fruit of a strategic partnership between UniDistance Suisse and Idiap. UniDistance Suisse offers an advanced technical and organisational infrastructure thanks to its expertise in e-learning and its status within the Swiss higher education system. Idiap offers scientific expertise as a national competence centre in artificial intelligence and expert in technology transfer.

More information

A word from Professor Hervé Bourlard, Programme Director

«This Master is a unique, visionary programme that combines job experience and education. You will develop a company’s artificial intelligence (AI) and, at the same time, get a high-level, flexible university training, thus acquiring the advanced skills which are essential to managing AI projects. Sixty per cent of your time is dedicated to courses taught by Idiap researchers enjoying worldwide recognition in their fields.  As you will mainly study online, you will enjoy major flexibility, fitting your studies around your life. Fourty per cent of your time is dedicated to your company, for which you develop an AI project with the support of the Idiap R&D team. Your company provides the financial support you need to follow a training programme aligned with its interests and activities and you get an internationally recognised degree.»

    What makes our master so special?

    Besides combining those two sides : working in a company and studying, the Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence is a recognised, flexible and professionalising degree which is perfectly in line with the recent developments in our society. It offers many advantages:

    • It combines a job experience with flexible distance learning courses
    • Your degree will be recognised in Switzerland and abroad according to the Bologna criteria.
    • The flexibility of distance studying allows you to organise your education according to your personal situation.
    • Personal supervision and close contact with teachers and assistants with the help of e-tools.
    • The acquisition of professional expertise along with theoretical courses.

    How does the Master in Artificial Intelligence course work?

    The Master in Artificial Intelligence programme consists of two closely linked parts: theoretical courses and a professional activity in a company.

    The theoretical part runs as follows: at the start of each term, you follow one week of standard attendance-based lectures/classes. For the rest of the term, you learn with the online platform Moodle and in virtual classes. The online platform is like a classroom where youwill find content, exercises, homework/tests, plannings, etc. It allows you to learn in a flexible way. The virtual classes complete the Moodle platform: they enable you to follow live lectures/classes, with the other students. The personal support of your teachers completes this system.

    The practical part takes place in a company. During your first semester you define a strategy to develop artificial intelligence within the company. This first semester allows you to define your terms of references as well as one (or more) AI project(s). You will develop those projects during the last two semesters of your training. The AI experts of the Idiap will accompany you throughout all those phases.

    The combination of online theoretical lectures/classes with the implementation of a professional activity in a company is the optimum preparation for you to become an expert developer in artificial intelligence.

    Why train in artificial intelligence?

    Artificial intelligence is a new turning point in the digitalisation process of our society, foretelling the upcoming 4.0 industry. All companies whatever their market (regional, national or global) are moving towards digitalisation and need a whole range of AI expertise. The job marketis desperately looking for AI specialists as the need is there.

    Who is this Master in Artificial Intelligence for?

    This programme is perfect for:

    • Students with a solid computer science background, motivated on developing an artificial intelligence strategy with a company and creating one or more projects.
    • Companies aiming at integrating artificial intelligence in their strategy, but lacking highly qualified employees. The company establishes a position in the company for the student in charge of the AI project(s) and is also advised and supported by Idiap researchers and specialists.
      Further information for companies:

    What are the job opportunities after a Master in Artificial Intelligence?

    The MSc in Artificial Intelligence alternates between theoretical tuition and a job in a company. It enables the student to develop skills that meet the demands of the business. The dual theory-practice nature of the curriculum guarantees employability after completing the degree. In addition, the development of a project for a partner company increases the chances of getting a permanent position.

    The Master’s trains specialist developers and future managers in artificial intelligence in the 4.0 industry.

    • It shows a high level of expertise in information technology.
    • It guarantees an excellent understanding of the business challenges of AI. 
    • It offers specializations, through advanced classes, in specific fields such as biometrics or robotics.

    The practical part of the Master enables the student to get professional experience and proves his ability to develop a business project in artificial intelligence.

    While the 4.0 industry is beginning to grow, artificial intelligence is establishing itself everywhere, from smartphones to driverless vehicles, and numerous businesses are hoping to join this digital revolution, the supply of specialist AI developers is struggling to meet demand from businesses. With our Master in artificial intelligence, you have unique skills that the industry needs.

    Artificial intelligence is asserting itself in every field, from insurance to heavy industry, including banking services, sales, security, biotechnologies, energy, health and public policies. The MSc in artificial intelligence turns you into an artificial intelligence manager of the future.

    Partner companies

    Do you have data? Then you also have business development opportunities. Artificial intelligence will use your data in order to solve problems and/or implement innovative ideas for your business.

    Artificial intelligence allows you to gain productivity, quality and profitability thanks to practical applications such as prediction and automation. Here are a few examples:  

    When is a machine going to break? How can customer service answers be automated? Will a customer terminate a contract? How can firewall security be improved? How can recruitment of qualified staff be improved? How to cut energy use and costs? How can financial processes be optimized?  

    The Master in Artificial intelligence offers a unique opportunity to define which artificial intelligence areas apply for your business. At the same time, it provides you with the skills you need to develop your AI strategy. This exclusive mix of expert support and skills acquisition through theoretical high-level courses provides your company with the knowledge and talent you need in artificial intelligence.   

    The Idiap artificial intelligence and technology transfer experts advise, support and guide you.

    Become a partner of the Master in artificial intelligence.

    How much does the Master in Artificial Intelligence cost?

    The prices per semester are divided as follows: 

    For the student:

    • Tuition fee: CHF 2,000

    An invoice for this half-yearly tuition fee will be sent to your postal address. The invoice should be settled before the start of the semester in one single payment. We do not accept spread payments.
    Please sort out the details of the payment directly with your company. 

    For the partner company:

    • Contribution to consulting and support costs for the AI project(s) development. Please find all prices and conditions here:


    Unfortunately, UniDistance Suisse does not offer any grants. for more information, please see the Admission and Registration page.

    Our lecturers for the Master in Artificial Intelligence

    • Dr Sébastien MarcelDr Sébastien Marcel
    • Olivier Bornet
    • Dr Jean-Marc Odobez
    • Dr André Anjos
    • Dr Théophile Gentilhomme
    • Dr Ina Kodrasi
    • Dr James Henderson
    • Andre Freitas
    • Dr Mathew Magimai Doss
    • Prof. Dr Michael Liebling
    • Dr Joël Dumoulin
    • Dr Philip N. Garner
    • Dr Olivier Canévet

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    Portrait d'Hervé Bourlard
    Hervé Bourlard

    Artificial Intelligence Professor and Scientific Head of Programme

    Do you have any questions?

    Our Student Managers will be glad to help you in French, German or English.
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